GIST -GDS Innovative Sol. 4 Traveling

World's first open source GDS/CRS document printer application

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Description

 

On this Page:
Introduction | Aim | Goals | Features | Approach | Contribute |


Introduction

GIST is a Global Distribution Systems (GDS)/Computer Reservations Systems (CRS) based software that will ideally fetch* PNR/booking files data, filter, format, compile taxes/fares, save, present in UI to edit it, prorate airline fares and print PNR/non PNR (edited) data on tickets & other stationary, utilizing commonly available printers to eliminate manual intervention that leads to minimization of errors and increase productivity of traveling agents, airport and vendorsí staff to offer greater value to the end travelers. ^


Aim

TO UTILIZE GIST WITH ALL GDS/CRS AND THEIR VENDORS TO ELIMINATE MANUAL INTERVENTION FROM ANY TYPE OF DOCUMENT UNDER USE OF GDS INDUSTRY AND RELATED AREAS. ^


Goals

GIST will be designed to offer invincible value to the travel agents, airport and vendor staff. It will be a Windows based application that on later stage will interface with the GDS/CRS systems and automates the printing* of any form of tickets/stationary/documents, which are originally being manual write. This enables the travel agents, airport and vendor staff to edit data, save it locally and preview in WYSIWYG mode before printing. The elimination of manual intervention would lead to minimization of errors on the part of the end user.

GIST, in the absence of a domestic BSP, will become a auto ticketing solution that enhance the productivity of travel agent partners and agent will also deliver key sales data to the airlines, on a desired time basis, through automatic MIS reports. Yes, GIST will also facilitate the generation of MIS reports for the airline including Airline Sales Reports which lists the entire gamut of sales information for a particular period, Agency Sales Reports that will list all airline sales made by a particular single traveling agency, User Sales Reports which list all airline sales made by a specific user. ^


Features

GIST will support vendors like Airlines, Hotels, Railways, Rent-A-Car and Cruises etc.

GIST will ideally help following document manipulation:

  1. Airline Tickets,

  2. Hotel Vouchers,

  3. Rent-A-Car Vouchers,

  4. Railway Vouchers,

  5. Cruise Vouchers,

  6. XOs - Exchange Orders (for getting tickets from airline, GSAs or other travel agents),

  7. Invoices,

  8. MCOs - Miscellaneous Cash Order (for excess baggage and other stuff),

  9. Departure Tax Voucher,

  10. Embarkation Card,

  11. Disembarkation Card,

  12. Boarding Passes and much more.

Covering all of this itself is a huge tasks as each of such document may has tens (and sometimes hundreds) of different formats. To understand this, one must understand that how many vendors like airlines, hotels, rent-a-car, railways and cruises are around and each one with its different documents format? Other then these documents GIST will also address airports and other stations related documents, cards and vouchers, again with multiple formats. ^


Approach

GIST, to cover all highlighted areas uses a simple approach to break the operation into two pieces i.e. one to build formats and second to fetch*, filter, present, edit, enter, save and print data utilizing already built formats. As we have not decided yet that how the two parts will be presented in the application and what names do we suggest, letís assume that the former is FieldSetter and later is DocumentFurnisher. ^

Product description as we can see it at this initial stage and is subject to change:

GIST FieldSetter:

  • Typically a form designer application that may or may not present all fields available in PNR/booking filesí record and lets user place those fields (by drag & drop or manually entering x-y) at desired coordinates over a document surface. Document surface is a scanned image of the document in actual dimensions.

  • Few fields though present in document formats like tickets but not present in PNR records, so could be created manually. GIST team will try its best to standardize any unavailable fieldsí names and to create as much as formats possible before hand.

  • A PNR/Booking file record typically contains all fields for airline, rent-a-car, railway, cruise etc. in a single record but not necessarily and thus fields present over document format may or may not be found in PNR/Booking file's record, and if not then can be manually generated and entered by the end users.

  • Due to the diversified nature of PNR/Booking file record, FieldSetter application will help managing vendors, vendor types, map vendors to vendor types and PNR record/non PNR fields to their vendorsí types.

  • Typically all GDS/CRS vendors provide mediocre application programming interfaces (APIs) that when integrates with third party applications (like GIST) help download PNR/booking file records from their worldwide central databases locations.

  • Because of the factor that GDS mediocre application programming interfaces (APIs) are proprietary and not available for free and we may not have enough funds to buy them initially, we will create our own fields and will utilize them in GIST.

  • WE HOPE THAT SOMEDAY GDS/CRS VENDORS WILL UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF GIST AND FOR THE GESTURE OF GENEROSITY THEY WILL DONATE US ONE COMPLEMENTARY LICENSE OF THEIR MEDIOCRE APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFACES (APIS) TO USE WITH GIST IN ORDER TO HELP THE GDS/CRS COMMUNITY AND MAKE US ENABLE TO REACH OUR AIM TO UTILIZE GIST WITH ALL GDS/CRS VENDORS TO ELIMINATE MANUAL INTERVENTION FROM ANY TYPE OF DOCUMENT UNDER USE OF GDS/CRS INDUSTRY AND RELATED AREAS.

  • Once the mediocre application programming interfaces (APIs) are available to use with GIST, we will map original PNR/Booking file fields to those already under use or originally created by GIST team. ^

DocumentFurnisher:

GIST eliminates the need to hand write tickets. In addition to the pre FieldSetter designed formats which will be supplied with the base product, FieldSetter allows the user to design formats which are then stored on the user PC. The PNR/Booking information is then automatically retrieved* by DocumentFurnisher, insert an airline ticket or any document into the printer (preferred printer is of flat bed type) and hit the Print key. Next thing you know, you are looking at a smartly printed ticket or any document and there is a record of it on your computer.

The logic behind the DocumentFurnisher operations is as follows:

  1. Retrieves* the booking or type in manually
  2. Complete the ticketing/document information,
  3. Print preview your document in WYSIWYG mode,
  4. Issue the printing instructions.

So, you really work with only three steps at the most. With practice, a user will manage to issue tickets/other documents within seconds from just two screens. ^

 

Other Features are:

  • Will handle Airline Tickets, Hotel Vouchers, Rent-A-Car Vouchers, Railway Vouchers, Cruise Vouchers, XOs - Exchange Orders (for getting tickets from airline, GSAs or other travel agents), Invoices, MCOs - Miscellaneous Cash Order (for excess baggage and other stuff), Departure Tax Voucher, Embarkation Card, Disembarkation Card, Boarding Passes and much more,

  • Manual and BSP stationary printing,

  • Can handle many passengers and conjunction tickets per booking file/PNR,

  • A single ticket can be printed in parts, i.e. you can leave few fields in first print and can print them later by inserting same ticket again in the printer or print a field that somehow got missed in first printing, or as a whole in one go,

  • In case the ticket stationary has more segments than the booking, depending on the market requirement, VOID segments can be printed first or at the end of the actual segments,

  • For BSP printing, printing ticket no. is mandatory and for manual stationary ticket nos. are already printed. So, you may chose not to print nos. on the ticket,

  • Browse through sales data in the database or view a formatted and printable report,

  • If booking information carries an airport change, DocumentFurnisher will pick up both the airports by default and show the itinerary. You may chose to show only second airport instead of both (i.e. KHI-LGW-KHI only on KHI-LHR-LGW-KHI case),

  • System will be password protected to reduce any abuse or mishandling.

  • Will be backup enabled and backups could be taken on period, daily, monthly, yearly or all data basis,

  • A default general printing scheme for many of the printers will be defined but user can also personalize  the fonts and other printer settings,

  • DocumentFurnisher will come ready-to-run, complete with an accurate vendor (Airlines, Railways, Rent-A-Car, cruises etc.) and city (airports) data, having both code and name fields. If required, user can chose to update this data either manually using buttons or download* updated data directly from GDS/CRS (if mediocre application programming interfaces (APIs) is integrated).

  • Will be well responsive and informative be an adjunct to the user manual.

  • Will be able, if desired, to post a comment (to be edited by users before hand) over booking file/PNR in GDS/CRS to show and have record that printing is done by DocumentFurnisher by particular user.

  • Other Record Locater(s) (RLOC) than available can be added to the airline ticket in Airline data section.

  • Will break fares and taxes automatically and put them in appropriate places over ticket stationary.

  • Utilities will include reports, Backup and data erasing. Data will include Date, Carrier, Passenger, Segments, Value, Tax, Net, Tour, Commission and remarks etc. Utilities can be manipulated over dates and carriers.

  • Reports could be exported to external format like MS Access, MS Excel, Text and RTF etc. Reports can be emailed, zoomed and printed.

  • Will be able to save itinerary/any data locally for future reference, later printing or offline browsing.

  • Will be able to prorate airline ticket fares in a booking file/PNR.

    ^


Contribute to GIST

Contribution to the GIST can be made by providing help in the form of:

  •  using GIST.

  •  reporting bugs.

  •  suggesting UI up gradations.

  •  suggesting architecture up gradations.

  •  suggesting features up gradations.

  •  contributing in code development effort.

  •  diversifying application to platforms other than Windows.

  •  donating XML/OLE based mediocre application programming interfaces (APIs) license to integrate that with GIST.

  •  providing GDS/CRS technical support i.e. for formats, IDs and emulator (the command screen)

  •  spreading a word of mouth for GIST.

  •  donating money etc.

    ^


*Feature of fetching data from GDS/CRS will only be available if mediocre application programming interfaces (APIs) (OLE/XML form) license will be granted/donated to GIST team by their respective GDS/CRS vendors.
 

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Copyright © 2004 The GIST Team
Last modified: 21/08/2004